Fourth Year Reflection: Mary Hall
Home and Hospitality. These are two words that come to mind when I think of my experience at the Study Center over the past four years.
College has been one of the most formative experiences of my life, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to attend this university. One of the biggest struggles I faced as a first-year student was feeling like every experience was momentary and fleeting. Living situations, new places, people and experiences seemed so temporary and it was hard for me to find stability in the midst of these constant changes. Simple things, such as a place I could trust for consistency or a home-cooked meal, were comforts from home that I took for granted.
The gospel of Jesus Christ reminds us that we are family. The story of Christ’s death on the cross reminds us that we are sons and daughters who are stepping into our callings and finding a place of continual rest, or a home, in God. As a first year, the Study Center showed me how God is steadfast and consistent, and it reminded me of the importance of valuing Him as my home.
Proverbs 24:3-4 says:
“By wisdom a house is built,
and through understanding it is established;
through knowledge its rooms are filled
with rare and beautiful treasures.”
The Study Center staff seeks wisdom from the Lord and they pursue His presence within these walls. Because of this pursuit, the Study Center is a warm shelter in the winters of life, and a place where students can pray and admit their vulnerabilities. Its foundations are built on the joy of the Lord. These rooms are filled with the “rare and beautiful treasures” of people—of family, diligent workers, and individuals learning how to build God’s Kingdom together.
The Lord has made this place a home for me through His presence among the staff and students (and, of course, through the gift of coffee).
This year, I am an intern at the Study Center. I love being able to take care of the place that has taken care of me so well throughout my college career.
My role as an intern involves meeting up regularly with the one and only Shelly “Bosslady” Pellish and, through her discipleship and love, I have gained a biblical understanding of hospitality. Romans 12 has taught me how, every day, I can do simple things to love others well. Love in action means serving humbly, taking delight in creating spaces of peace, and meeting people with patience, wherever they are in life. Whether I’m decorating for events, preparing a team to serve hundreds of students at Exam Snacks, or refilling coffee on a quiet Friday night, I have learned to abide in the Lord during both the mundane and exciting moments of the Study Center’s ministry.
This reflection was difficult to write because my time at the Study Center has been so full. I have prayed for people and others have prayed for me. I have laughed, cried, slept and danced in this place. I run around this building as if it were my own. Praise God for a place where so many other students, like myself, can thrive and grow in their love for Jesus.
Mary will graduate from the College of Arts & Sciences this spring with degrees in media studies and arts administration.